Are claims about Buddhist and Hindu meditation techniques being good for us mentally and physically true? Can one be Christian and Buddhist?
I just wanted to thanks all your help. It is really needed! Thanks for be very patient,caring and loving. I have a question regarding if you can review the “facts” that my Buddhist friend emailed me: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/08/mindfulness-meditation-benefits-health_n_3016045.html and http://www.tm.org/benefits-of-meditation
He claims that meditation is good for health, and that a Christin can be a Buddhist too. How would you respond to this claim about meditation and yoga? Also, how do you respond to this quote from A. Einstein? http://wisdomthroughmindfulness.blogspot.mx/2007/09/religion-of-future-albert-einstein.html
As for the claims at these two web sites, I believe that evidence is likely to back up these claims, more or less. Meditation–whether a Hindu, Buddhist or Christian style, will help relieve stress, increase focus and do many or most of the things claimed. I cannot vouch that all of these have been tested scientifically, but I do not believe these are wild and unfounded claims. Bottom line, prayer is good for us as human beings because God made us that way. Hinduism and Buddhism may not be the Truth, but they contain elements of truth in them, including the idea that contemplation of spiritual things is good for our physical and mental health.
Can a Christian also be a Buddhist? The answer is a definite no! The theology of Buddhism and of Christianity are diametrically opposed. Buddha himself was officially agnostic on the God-question, but we can infer from his other beliefs that he was almost certainly a pantheist. In other words, to him “God” is equated with creation. We are God, and God is us. We discover “God” by looking inward and contemplating nature and ourselves. This is obviously not acceptable in Christianity. In Buddhism, God, if he exists at all, is impersonal. In Christianity, God is personal. In Buddhist cosmology the universe is eternal and uncreated. Time is cyclical. In Christianity, the universe was created. Of course, you know that science agrees with Christianity on this. There is a long list of teachings in Buddhism and in Christianity which are inherently contradictory on the absolutely most
basic possible level. Whether Buddhism or Christianity is True in the larger sense is another question. I believe that the Bible is consistent with all we know about science, and its reliability is wonderfully confirmed by fulfilled biblical prophecy, but the miracles and resurrection of Jesus, by the historical reliability of the Bible and much more–none of which is found in Buddhism.
It is true that a fair number of scientists who come to believe in a Creator through science are attracted to Buddhism. This is because Buddhism has an impersonal uninvolved Creator, which is friendly to the scientific way of thinking about the world. Science alone would not lead to Christianity, with its personal, loving, involved Creator.
I had not seen this particular quote from Einstein, but I have seen others which are similar. It is not surprising to me that Einstein, as a deist, found Buddhist philosophy attractive. He did not believe in salvation or in a personal God, so Buddhism with its simple worship and impersonal deity would naturally fit his world view.
Of course, the fact that Einstein liked Buddhism or that meditation styles from many religions have positive physiological effects does little if anything to show that Buddhism or Hinduism is true. The fact that a smart guy named Einstein liked Buddhism really says nothing at all about whether the claims of Buddha are true. I believe that the picture of God in Buddhism and Hinduism is a false description of the Creator–that the Eastern world view is not consistent with reality and is not supported by the evidence.